Men's track and field boasts huge performances across the board

Category:  Sports
Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at 8:29 AM
Men's track and field boasts huge performances across the board by Mike Lantinen
With improvements across the board, both track and field teams race towards new goals. | Photo: EU Sports Information

On the men’s side, the team would be separated by nearly 2,500 miles, competing at the Westminster Invitational, the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic and the Mt. Sac Relays, hosted by Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. The dispersed team would not let the circumstances affect them as six athletes would meet the PSAC provisional standard and two for the NCAA standard.

Elliott Martynkiewicz would be the sole competitor in the Mt. Sac Relays after a contribution from an anonymous donor, funding him to participate in one of the most competitive track meets of the year.

“Mt. Sac is arguably one of the best meets in the country. Someone was kind enough to donate the money for us to make the trip out and whoever it was, I can’t thank them enough. The trip was unforgettable,” said Martynkiewicz.

Posting one of the greatest 5K times in Edinboro distance running history, Martynkiewicz found himself only 10 seconds away from PSAC and Edinboro alum, Mike Platt, who ran an Edinboro track record of 13:56.01 in 1987, compared to Martynkiewicz’s 14:06.2 this weekend.

“It was probably one of the most tactically challenging races I’ve ever competed in. I was dead last through the first lap.”

Martynkiewicz continued, “I spent a lot of time in lane two, which is not where I wanted to be, forcing myself to go really wide to maneuver around people and maintain position.

Strategic racing is deceivingly important in distance running, contributing to an individual’s final results more often than not. Wind resistance, inconsistent pacing and running out of lane one are just a few of those factors that can affect a runner. Thankfully for Matynkiewicz, weather didn’t play a role in his strategic planning on this day.

“The weather was actually one of the reasons the race went so well. It was the perfect temperature for a race.”

The Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic would set the stage for five qualifying times. Corey Wefing improved on his personal best time for the 1,500 meter run, knocking seven seconds off his personal best for the distance.

“I was working with Ryan Thompson of Slippery Rock throughout most of the race. The final lap, the field took off with Thompson leading the charge,” he said.

“It’s nice to have them there because at big meets we can team up a little because we know each other and how we race. But when it’s conference time it’s game on. So it’s a cool aspect.”

Even with a late falter by Wefing, his improvement gives him an opportunity to compete at the national level in only his second year at Edinboro University.

“When I opened up for my kick, someone in front of me made a move at the same time and spiked my shin and I almost went down. I was very happy with the race, but without almost falling, I think I would have been a second or two faster.” He finished in a time of 3:50.47.

Carlson also spoke about Wefing’s chance to continue and improve for the rest of the season.

“I think we’re still going to see more out of Corey. He did provisionally qualify, which was huge, there’s definitely still more there and I’m excited to watch him run a fast 800 rather than the 1,500.”

Other provisional conference qualifiers included Logan Kempney, Brady Deaner, Joel Lohr and Jon Gusew. Lohr continued his quest to break the 50 second barrier in the 400 meter dash as the only qualifier who competed at the Westminster Invitational. He qualified himself for the PSAC conference meet with a 50.31 time. Deaner ran the unseeded 1,500 at Bucknell, finishing in 3:58.90, squeaking under four minutes and continuing his stellar freshman season. Gusew improved on his performance he had earlier in the season in North Carolina, running his best 5K time to date, placing 27th and top 10 for the PSAC, within striking distance of a podium spot at the conference championship. Kempney finished 4th overall and placed himself at the top amongst Edinboro runners for the PSAC qualifiers.

Mike Lantinen is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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